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How to grow galangal root

Updated February 21, 2017

Galangal (Alpinia galanga) is a spicy root herb closely resembling ginger. The root is native to the warm, tropical regions of Asia and is used widely in Asian cuisine in both its fresh and dried form. The above-ground galangal plants grow to a mature height of 6 to 7 feet with upright, narrow foliage growing on brown to orange, fleshy stems. The plant blooms with very small, greenish white, red-veined flowers followed by red berries. You can propagate new galangal with soft cuttings taken from the stems, as cited in National Geographic's "Edible."

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  1. Prepare a small pot for planting by filling with a cutting starter mix. Pour about an inch of rooting hormone in a plastic cup.

  2. Cut small sections of fleshy stems from galangal using a sharp scissors. Remove any leaves from the lower half of the stem.

  3. Insert a pencil at a depth of about 2 inches to create planting holes for the cuttings. Dip the base of the cuttings into the rooting hormone, and plant immediately in individual planting holes.

  4. Firm the soil around the cuttings and water well. Place the pot in a large, clear plastic bag. Insert a chopstick in the pot to help hold the bag up. Close the top with a rubber band. This will help to create a greenhouse effect.

  5. Place the pot in a warm, bright area out of direct sunlight. Open the bag every three to four days and water enough to keep soil moist. Cuttings generally root within a few weeks.

  6. Transplant to a shaded spot in the garden with moist, fertile soil. Galangal grows bets in warm, tropical weather. Harvest the root when the leaves yellow and die.

  7. Tip

    Galangal is widely used as medicinal herb for its antibacterial properties. Galangal roots helps to prevent nausea and is also used as a body deodoriser, according to "Edible."

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Things You'll Need

  • Cutting starter mix
  • Small pot
  • Sharp scissors
  • Rooting hormone
  • Plastic cup
  • Clear plastic bag
  • Chopstick
  • Rubber band
  • Pencil

About the Author

Irum Sarfaraz is a freelance writer with over 20 years of nonfiction writing experience in newspaper op-eds and magazine writing, book editing, translating and research writing. Sarfaraz is originally from Pakistan and has been published in both American and Pakistani newspapers and magazines. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English literature, and diplomas in nonfiction writing.

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